Closing a show, but the journey goes on – A note from the Artistic Director

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Making our way through our first season here at Williamston Theatre, we’ve been blessed with good fortune. We’ve also been tested with a wide variety of challenges.

Right now, we’re in one of those challenging moments. However, taking the advice of a wise Lighting Designer friend of mine, we’ve chosen not to look these moments as problems, but as “Opportunities in work clothes.”

The challenge is this: between lower than hoped for ticket sales, the arts-funding cutbacks, and the poor Michigan economy affecting donations, we’re in a financial crunch that is going to make it impossible to pay actors, stage managers, crew and staff for the next few weeks.

The solution is this: We’re closing Music From A Sparkling Planet two weeks earlier than scheduled. We had a nice 6 week run, not what we’d hoped for but very good for a company in it’s first season that is still building audiences, building relationships. While this may be a first for us, it’s nothing new in the theatre industry. Shows that sell tickets stay open, shows that don’t, don’t. That’s just an inherent risk in the business. Closing one show is not the end of this theatre: all of our shows close eventually, this one just closed a couple of weeks early!

So – what “opportunities” can we find in this event? That’s easy: This is an opportunity to explore what we can do better, how we can make our product and company more appealing to our audience, and to people who aren’t YET our audience, but might be soon. We can take this time and prepare for our new show in July, Flap, a brand new, insightful comedy written by one of Michigan’s wonderful young playwrights, Annie Martin.

And, we’ll soon be announcing our 2007-2008 Season, and it’s filled with laughter, song, comedy and drama.

So. Opportunities. They’re here, and we’ll be seizing every one we can find. This little setback isn’t the end…it’s just one more step in our journey! We’re looking forward to it, and I hope that you are too!

See you at the theatre –

Tony Caselli
Artistic Director
Williamston Theatre

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